Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
Emporia State Hornets (3-0, 3-0 MIAA)
vs. Northeastern State RiverHawks (0-3, 0-3 MIAA)
Sat., Sept. 26, 2015 2:00 p.m. Jones Field at Welch Stadium (7,000) Emporia, Kan.
Series Record: NSU leads 5-4 Current Streak: ESU 3 Wins
Last Meeting: ESU 42, at NSU 35 2OT (Sept. 27, 2014)
Radio: KFFX-FM (104.9), 1:00 p.m. Pregame TV: None
Internet (Audio): http://www.kvoe.com Internet (Video): portal.stretchinternet.com/esu
Officials: Announced on Game Day
Up Next: at Lindenwood Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 2:37 p.m.
Hunter Stadium (6,000) Lindenwood, Mo.
A FAMILY TRADITION
Emporia State returns to Jones Field at Welch Stadium to take on Northeastern State on Family Day. The annual Football Traditions event will follow the game.
LAST TIME OUT
Emporia State gained a season high 214 yards rushing and Brent Wilson threw for over 300 yards as the Hornets improved to 3-0 with a 38-28 win at Central Oklahoma. The Hornets forced a three and out on the Bronchos opening possession and then marched 68 yards in seven plays, capped by a 21 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Justin Brown, to take a 7-0 lead and would never trail. Denzel Strong had 80 yards on seven carries, Landon Nault had 69 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns and Antonio Brown had a game high 18 carries for 54 yards and the game sealing touchdown with 1:56 left. Kavaski Ervin had his second straight 100 yard receiving game, finishing with 106 yards on eight catches. Mitchell Foote had 78 yards on nine catches and Justin Brown had 76 yards on seven catches and a touchdown.
Garin Higgins has compiled a career record of 96-56 in 14 seasons as a head coach. He is 45-47 in his ninth season at his alma mater and is 36-23 since the start of the 2010 season. He led the Hornets to the NCAA playoffs in 2013. He had a 51-9 career record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma, including two trips to the national championship game. Higgins was a quarterback for Emporia State from 1987-90 and was on the 1989 national runners-up team. He is 3-0 against Northeastern State and was the offensive coordinator for the RiverHawks in 2006.
Rob Robinson is 0-14 in his second year at Northeastern State. He is 0-1 against Emporia State.
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
The Hornets are leading the nation in third down percentage, converting 38 of 56 third downs, and lead the MIAA in scoring, total offense and passing offense. Brent Wilson is leading the MIAA in passing efficiency, passing yards, touchdown passes, points responsible for, and total offense while ranking in the top 20 nationally in all of those categories.
SCOUTING THE RIVERHAWKS
Northeastern State is 0-3 on the season and have lost 14 straight games dating back to the final game of the 2013 season. They are last in the MIAA in rushing offense, rushing defense and turnovers lost. Irving Steele is leading the MIAA in sacks with four in three games.
This will be the tenth meeting between the two schools with Northeastern State leading 5-4. The Hornets have won the last three meetings, all since the RiverHawks joined the MIAA in 2013. Northeastern State has won three of four games played in Emporia.
LAST TIME AGAINST NSU
Brent Wilson threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns and scored the game winner on a run in the second overtime as Emporia State defeated Northeastern State 42-35 in double overtime in Tahlequah, Okla. Wilson was 20 of 36 for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Austin Willis had four receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns, while Kavaski Ervin had five catches for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Emporia State travels to St. Charles, Mo. on Octobert 3 for the MIAA TV Game of the Week against Lindenwood. Kick-off in Hunter Stadium is set for 2:37 p.m.
YOU HAVE TO SCORE TO WIN
The Hornets are 35-8 under coach Higgins when scoring 28 or more points with a 30-3 record in their last 33 games in which they have scored at least 28 points. Emporia State has averaged 44.5 points per game in their last 19 wins since a 13-0 win over Lindenwood in the 2012 season, the last time the Hornets were held under 30 points in a win.
Three Hornets – Justin Brown, Kavaski Ervin and Mitchell Foote – are ranked in the top four of the MIAA in receptions and three are in the top seven in receiving yards. Emporia State has two running backs – Antonio Brown and Landon Nault – in the top 14 of the MIAA in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while a third – Denzel Strong – has the second longest run from scrimmage in the MIAA this year. The Hornets return three players at quarterback that have started and won MIAA games. The threesome of Brent Wilson, Ty Reasnor and Braxton Marstall all posted wins last year in games where they threw for at least 196 yards while completing at least 60% of at least 30 throws with multiple touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions. Last year the rest of the MIAA combined to have just two wins to meet that standard.
Quarterback Brent Wilson (Sr./Ponca City, Okla.) is ranked second in the nation in completion percentage, third in completions per game, fourth in passing yards, eighth in total offense, 13th in points responsible and passing touchdowns and 16th in passing efficiency. He is leading the MIAA in passing efficiency, touchdown passes, passing yards, total offense and touchdowns responsible for. He was 31 of 43 for 316 yards with a touchdown at Central Oklahoma to become the first Hornet quarterback with three straight 300 yard games since Tyler Eckenrode in 2012. He was named the MIAA Offensive Player of the Week after going 35 of 46 for 446 yards with five touchdowns in the Hornets 45-34 win over Central Missouri. He was also named the USA College Football National Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. He became the first Hornet quarterback to lead Emporia State to wins in three straight season openers when he went 25 of 36 for 330 yards with three touchdowns at Missouri Southern.
He was named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list this year. In the first four games before getting injured last year he averaged 320.0 yards per game with a 60.6% completion rate and ten touchdowns. He was injured in the fourth quarter of the Hornets 42-35 double overtime win at Northeastern State. He finished the game, tossing a game tying touchdown in the first OT and scoring the game winner on a rush in the second extra period. He finished 20 of 36 for 292 yards and four touchdowns at Northeastern State. He was 40 of 62 for 489 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions at Central Missouri. The 40 completions broke Pete Jelovic’s school record of 39 set against Truman in 1995 and the 489 yards are second in Emporia State history to his own 522 yards against Central Oklahoma in 2013.
He was named second-team All-MIAA at quarterback as a sophomore. As a sophomore he set the Emporia State single season touchdown passes record with 33, was just the second Hornet to go over 3,000 yards of total offense with 3,381 yards, and was third in passing with 2,985 yards in just ten games on the season. He led his first fourth quarter comeback at Missouri Western and finished the game 21 of 31 for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Griffons. He was named MIAA, D2Football.com and BSN National Offensive Player of the Week after setting MIAA records for passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes at Central Oklahoma as a sophomore. He was 38 of 47 for 522 yards with seven touchdowns against the Bronchos and added 49 yards rushing for a total of 571 yards. He was the first quarterback in Emporia State history to throw for over 300 yards in his first start as he went 21 of 29 for 301 yards and three touchdowns against Ft. Hays State and also ran for 74 yards on 13 carries with a pair of rushing touchdowns.
He is 427 of 646 for 5,469 yards with 53 touchdowns passing in his career. He has added 646 rushing yards to record 6,097 yards of total offense in 26 career games. He is second among active Division II players in completion percentage, third in passing efficiency and fifth in total offense per play. He is ranked second in career touchdown passes, fourth in career passing yards and total offense at Emporia State.
Quarterback Ty Reasnor (So./Cashion, Okla.) threw for a career high 258 yards with four touchdowns on 29-49 passing in a 42-40 loss at Neb.- Kearney. He was 13 of 18 for 128 yards against Ft. Hays State before getting knocked out of the game in the second quarter. He was named MIAA Offensive Player of the Week after completing 30 of 37 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns against Lindenwood in his first career start.
Quarterback Braxton Marstall (So./Emporia, Kan.) got the starting nod at Missouri Western after subbing in for an injured Reasnor against Ft. Hays State. Against the Tigers, Marstall led the Hornets to 21 second half points as he was 10 for 19 for 102 yards after the break. In his first start the following week at Missouri Western, he was 24 of 38 for 233 yards and two touchdowns as he became the third Hornet quarterback of the season to get a victory in a start. He completed one pass for 29 yards against Northwest Missouri.
Receiver Kavaski Ervin (Sr./Mesquite, Texas) is third in the MIAA in receptions, tied for second in touchdown catches, and is seventh in receiving yards. He had 106 receiving yards on eight catches at Central Oklahoma. He had seven receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown against Central Missouri. He had four catches for 46 yards including a 19 yard touchdown grab at Missouri Southern. He was a second-team All-MIAA performer at wide receiver last year. He was named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list this year.
He was the leading receiver for the Hornets last season with 64 catches for 623 yards and five touchdowns. He led the MIAA in receptions per game last season. He had nine receptions for 75 yards at Neb.-Kearney. He had a team high six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown at Washburn. He had nine receptions for 100 yards at Mo. Western. He had eight catches for 93 yards against Ft. Hays State. He caught five passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns at Northeastern State, including a 30 yarder in the first overtime. He had five catches for 61 yards at Central Missouri. He had four catches for 27 yards against Missouri Southern.
He earned honorable mention All-MIAA honors as a sophomore. He caught six of the last ten touchdown passes thrown by Emporia State and had 18 catches for 324 yards and five touchdowns in his four games against nationally ranked teams last year. He had then career highs of seven receptions for 129 yards including a Hornet season best 74 yard touchdown against Washburn in 2013. He had five catches for 114 yards and two scores against Northwest Missouri. He had four receptions for 45 yards and two touchdowns at Missouri Western. He had a break out game with six catches for 93 yards with two touchdowns and he also blocked a punt against Northeastern State as a sophomore.
He played at both receiver and corner back as a freshman. He was the only Hornet to have a rush of over 25 yards and a reception of over 40 yards in 2012. He averaged 17.2 yards per catch as a freshman including a 42 yard touchdown reception against Central Oklahoma.
He has 119 catches for 1,434 yards and 16 touchdowns in 36 career games.
Mitchell Foote (Jr./Enid, Okla.) is ranked second in the MIAA in receptions and touchdown catches and is eighth in receiving yards. A total of 15 of his 20 catches on the season have gone for either a first down or a touchdown. He caught nine passes for 78 yards at Central Oklahoma. He had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown against Central Missouri. He had three catches for 50 yards and set a school record with an 88 yard punt return for a touchdown at Missouri Southern.
He had 35 receptions for 378 yards in ten games with four touchdowns last year. He had five catches for 51 yards and a touchdown at Neb.-Kearney. He had five catches for a then career best 93 yards including a career long 40 yarder at Northeastern State. He had four receptions for 28 yards against Central Oklahoma. He caught three passes for 51 yards at Central Missouri.
As a freshman he caught five passes for 61 yards against Washburn. He had two catches for 43 yards against Northwest Missouri. He had five catches for 50 yards at Lindenwood. He had four receptions for 82 yards against Southwest Baptist. He snagged a five yard touchdown pass the first time he set foot on the field for the Hornets on a fade against Neb.-Kearney as a freshman.
He has 81 receptions for 923 yards and eight touchdowns in 23 career games.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Receiver Drake Smithon (Sr./Woodward, Okla.) caught two passes for 12 yards at Central Oklahoma. He had five catches for 48 yards against Central Missouri. He had four receptions for 27 yards at Missouri Southern.
He pulled in 27 catches for 239 yards last season. He had three receptions for 30 yards at Neb.-Kearney. He had a 23 yard reception at Missouri Western. He had two catches for 24 yards against Ft. Hays State. He was the Hornets leading receiver with six catches for 43 yards against Lindenwood. He had three catches for 17 yards against Central Oklahoma. He had four receptions for 37 yards at Central Missouri. He had two catches for 21 yards against Missouri Southern.
He caught three passes for 22 yards against Southwest Baptist as a sophomore. He had five catches for 37 yards as a freshman after transferring from Oklahoma State.
He has 48 receptions for 415 yards in 34 career games.
Morris Williams II (Jr./Nashville, Tenn.) had 28 yards on four receptions at Central Oklahoma. He had a 14 yard touchdown against Central Missouri. He had two catches for 36 yards including a season long reception of 39 yards at Missouri Southern.
He transferred to Emporia State from Kilgore College. He had 30 receptions for 509 yards and five touchdowns for the Rangers last season. His 17.0 yards per catch ranked 19th in the NJCAA last season. He had six catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Southeast Prep Academy and eight catches for 149 yards and a score against Cisco last season.
Receiver Anthony Buffalomeat (Jr./Lawrence, Kan.) had a 14 yard reception at Missouri Southern after getting his first career reception last year against Northwest Missouri for ten yards.
Ten different Hornets have a reception this year, nine of them have at least one catch of ten yards or more and four Hornets have caught a touchdown pass.
Tight end Connor Theirolf (Sr./Marion, Kan.) made his first career reception against Central Missouri with a seven yard completion. He saw action in the last three games last season. He is in his third season at Emporia State after transferring from Hutchinson CC. He was a first-team All-Heart of America League pick on the offensive line for Marion HS.
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE
Tight end Trenton Ball (Fr.-RS/Midwest City, Okla.) was rated a three star recruit by ESPN.com and listed as the #21 tight end prospect in the country coming out of Carl Albert HS. He was the 14th rated player overall in the state of Oklahoma.
S-Back Jaylon Raydel (So./Gardner, Kan.) had four catches for 18 yards against Lindenwood last year.
JUST IN CASE
Receiver Justin Brown (So./El Reno, Okla.) is leading the MIAA in touchdown catches, is third in receptions and fifth in receiving yards this year. He had seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown at Central Oklahoma. He was lost for the season when he broke his leg on a 12 yard reception down to the Bronchos two yard line on third down. He had seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns against Central Missouri. He caught a team high five passes for 61 yards at Missouri Southern.
As a true freshman last year he had four of his 14 catches go for touchdowns. He had a breakout game with a career high six catches for 77 yards and three touchdowns at Neb.-Kearney. He had a 29 yard reception against Northwest Missouri. He had a 17 yard run against Washburn. He had one reception for five yards at Mo. Western. He caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and added a two point conversion against Ft. Hays State. He averaged 15.5 yards in the 23 times he touched the ball last season. He also lined up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation last season.
BROWN AND SERVE
Running back Antonio Brown (Jr./St. Louis, Mo.) is seventh in the MIAA in rushing at 74.0 yards per game and his three touchdowns rank second. He gained 54 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown at Central Oklahoma. He had 88 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown against Central Missouri. He had 80 yards on 17 carries at Missouri Southern.
He was tenth in the MIAA in rushing at 61.8 yards per game last year. He had 64 yards on 12 carries at Missouri Western. He became the first Hornets since Seville Ko in 2006 to have back to back 100 yard rushing days when he had a career high 134 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown at Pittsburg State following a 104 yard effort with a touchdown on 17 carries against Lindenwood. He had 76 yards on 17 carries at Northeastern State with a touchdown. He had 51 rushing yards on 16 carries against Central Oklahoma. He had 103 yards from scrimmage against Central Missouri with 21 carries for 60 yards with a rushing touchdown and a career high 12 receptions for 43 yards. He had 77 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown against Missouri Southern.
He was the Offensive Freshman of the Year in the MIAA and was named honorable mention All-MIAA in 2013. His nine rushing scores that year were the most by a Hornet since Kevin Smart had 11 touchdowns in 2009. He had 536 rushing yards last year with 463 coming in the final seven games of the year. His nine touchdowns were the most by a Hornet freshman since joining the MIAA. He rushed for 66 yards against Washburn last year with 60 of them coming on ten carries in the fourth quarter. He had 13 carries for 68 yards against Northwest Missouri last season. He had 109 yards on 14 carries at Missouri Western. He gained 76 yards on 16 carries with a pair of touchdowns against Lindenwood. He had a career high four rushing touchdowns on 16 carries with 102 yards at Lincoln. He has rushed for 1,438 yards and 18 touchdowns in 25 career games.
Running back Landon Nault (Fr.-RS/Kinfisher, Okla.) got his first start and had 69 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries at Central Oklahoma. He had a 44 yard gain against Central Missouri and finished the game with nine carries for 75 yards against the Mules. He had nine carries for 33 yards at Missouri Southern.
He was the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year after gaining 2,199 yards and 45 touchdowns on 249 carries as a senior. He also had 72 receiving yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. He was a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Finalist.
Running back Denzel Strong (So./Independence, Mo.) had a team high 80 yards on seven carries at Central Oklahoma thanks to a season long 70 yard rush. It is the longest run from scrimmage by a Hornet since a 74 yard run by Seville Ko against Ft. Hays State on August 27, 2005. He had two carries against Central Missourion back to back plays that gave the Hornets a key first down on the way to the go ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. He transferred from Hutchinson CC and had over 1300 yards at Van Horn HS.
OFF THE ICE
Guard Jarrett Stastny (Jr./Sanger, Texas) was named the Squarehead Award winner as the Hornets top offensive lineman against Missouri Southern. He is a two-time All-MIAA performer after earning third-team honors last season. He was named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list this year. He was named the Squarehead Award winner against Northeastern State and Missouri Southern. He was a consensus preseason All-American, earning D2Football.com, Lindy’s, BSN, and USA College Football honors last year. He was named First-Team All-MIAA on the offensive line and was the only freshman tabbed First-Team. He was a second-team Daktronics All-Region pick and earned third-team all-region honors from Hansen’s Football Gazette. He earned the Squarehead Award three times as a freshman. His first honor was against Neb.-Kearney and he won the award in the Hornets wins over nationally ranked Missouri Western and Washburn.
Tackle Jordan McAdoo (Sr./Piedmont, Okla) has been named the Squarehead Award winner in the last two games against Central Oklahoma and Central Missouri. He missed several games with a hamstring injury last year. He has played four of the five line spots with ten starts in his career. He was named Squarehead Award winner off the bench against Northwest Missouri as a sophomore. He started eight games as a freshman and earned Squarehead honors against Lindenwood.
IN THE TRENCHES
Eric Pruitt (Sr./Chicago, Ill.) has established himself as the starter at right guard this season. He returned to guard against Lindenwood last year after moving to center against Central Oklahoma and again at Northeastern State with the injury to Dan Goodman. He worked his way into the starting line-up at guard to begin the season.
Center Jake Warehime (So./Choctaw, Okla.) has started the first two games for the Hornets. He went from not on the depth chart to the starting position in the space of a week heading into the Missouri Southern game.
GERRON WITH IT
Tackle Gerron Anthony (Jr./Tyler, Texas) started against Missouri Southern before missing the Central Missouri game with a leg injury. He missed all of last year with a broken arm suffered just before training camp when a car fell on him as he was changing a tire. He was a second-team junior college All-American at Kilgore College. He was ranked the #89 overall high school recruit in the state by InsideTexas.com and was the #37 ranked guard at John Tyler HS.
Tackle Steve Williams (Fr./St. Louis, Mo.) started as a true freshman for the Hornets against Central Missouri. He was a first-team all-conference performer on the offensive line for Clayton HS and a four-year letter winner. He also earned honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore and second-team honors as a junior.
IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL
Centers Joe Pomatto (So./Paola, Kan) had taken the top spot at center out of training camp before his injury. He is in his third year with the Hornets after being the first lineman in history to be named Tri-County Spotlight Football Offensive Player of the Year his senior season at Paola HS.
Lineman Thomas O’Grady (So./Topeka, Kan.) played at Butler CC last season after redshirting at Emporia State in 2013. He was a first-team All-Topeka pick and second-team All-Centennial League selection for Hayden HS.
BOYS IN THE HALL
Guard Dylan Hall (So./Topeka, Kan.) is in his third year with the Hornets and is workign at both center and guard. He was an All-Centennial League first-team pick, helping Seaman HS reach the 5A playoffs as a senior.
Tackle Dane Riley (So/Azle, Texas) got to start against Northeastern State and saw considerable action over the final four games last year. He was a first-team All-District pick at left tackle for Azle HS. He was credited with 14 pancake blocks as a senior.
GETTING JENKY WITH IT
Guard Beau Jenkins (Jr./Corsicana, Texas) was moved into the starting line up at guard against Central Oklahoma last year and saw action in most games last year. He was a first-team All-State Class 2A performer for Mildred (Texas) HS.
DEPTH ON THE LINE
The Hornets used ten offensive linemen against Central Oklahoma and have had three different starting combinations in their first three games. No starting offensive lineman was on the field during the Hornets third quarter scoring drive against Central Oklahoma.
ON THE DEFENSE
The Hornets are ranked third in the MIAA in sacks with 3.3 sacks for 67 yards worth of losses in the first three games. Emporia State is sixth in the league in scoring defense at 27.3 points per game.
Linebacker Jason Tetuan (Sr./Topeka, Kan.) is leading the MIAA in tackles for loss with six solo TFL and is 16th in the nation in tackles for loss. He was credited with nine tackles including two tackles for loss and a forced fumble at Central Oklahoma. He had two sacks against Central Missouri and 3.0 tackles for loss. He had a team and career high 12 tackles at Missouri Southern. He was an honorable mention All-MIAA performer last year and was named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list this year.
He was ranked 22nd in the MIAA in total tackles with 73 last year. He had five tackles, four of them solo, against Northwest Missouri. He was credited with seven tackles at Washburn. He had ten tackles at Mo. Western. He had seven stops and 1.5 TFL against Ft. Hays State He recorded seven tackles at Pittsburg State. He recorded nine tackles at Northeastern State. He was credited with ten tackles and 1.5 sacks at Central Missouri. He had seven tackles, three of them unassisted against Missouri Southern.
He had three tackles in his first career start at Central Oklahoma as a sophomore. He had seven tackles, six of them solo, as a freshman for the Hornets.
His brother John was an All-American baseball player at Wichita State, brother Jesse was a member of the 2003 Big 12 Champion Kansas State football team, brother Jarod was an All-MIAA performer for Washburn in 2007 and brother Jacob is a reliever for the Hornet baseball team. Jacob was 2-1 in 15 games last spring with 20 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.
He has 77 solo tackles and 136 total tackles with 11.5 TFL in 36 career games.
Nickel Josh Monteagudo (Jr./Cape Coral, Fla.) was credited with eight tackles at Central Oklahoma with 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass break up. He had eight tackles with a sack against Central Missouri. He had seven tackles and an interception return of 14 yards at Missouri Southern. He has moved to linebacker after playing at safety his first two years at Emporia State.
He was credited with 11 tackles and a forced fumble at Pittsburg State. He recorded nine tackles at Northeastern State. He had ten tackles with nine of them unassisted against Central Oklahoma. He was credited with seven tackles and an interception at Central Missouri. He had four tackles against Missouri Southern.
He came on strong at the end of his freshman year with 46 of his 52 tackles in the final seven games of the year. He had eight tackles at Minn.-Duluth in the playoffs. He was credited with eight solo tackles including two for a loss against Northwest Missouri in 2013. He had a career high 12 tackles, nine of them solo, and an interception at Missouri Western. He had seven solo stops, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble at Lincoln. He is a transfer from Hutchinson CC where he redshirted as a freshman after originally committing to Ole Miss.
He has 122 total tackles, 81 of them solo, in 24 career games.
VICTORY OF THE PEOPLE
Linebacker Kole Schankie (Jr./Madison, Kan.) was credited with three tackles at Central Oklahoma. He had a career high ten tackles including a sack against Central Missouri. He had three tackles at Missouri Southern. He moved into the starting lineup after an outstanding training camp. He has been a key contributor on special teams during his first two years with the Hornets and had eight solo tackles last year.
Linebacker Gabe Cleveland (So./Eudora, Kan.) had one tackle at Central Oklahoma. He had a tackle for loss inside the Hornets five yard late in the fourth quarter that helped hold Central Missouri to a field goal with 5:35 left. He is in his third year with Emporia State. He was named First-Team All-Class 4A and was a two-time first-team All-Frontier League performer for Eudora HS.
Linebacker Remington Whitley (So./Olathe, Kan.) had two tackles at Central Oklahoma. He recorded four tackles at Pittsburg State last year. He began the season with four stops against Missouri Southern. He was named First-Team All-Sunflower League, earned Sunflower League Football Blog Defensive Player of the Year honors and was an honorable mention all-state pick as a senior for Olathe South HS.
A GOOD MAN
Linebacker Brandon Goodman (Jr./Paola, Kan.) had two solo stops against Neb.-Kearney. He had two tackles with one for a loss at Pittsburg State. He was credited with two tackles at Northeastern State. He had five tackles against Missouri Southern. He was a first-team All-State selection after recording 150 tackles his senior year at Paola HS.
Defensive end Eddie Vinson (Jr./Omaha, Neb.) had seven tackles with half a sack at Central Oklahoma after being held to one tackle against Central Missouri. He had eight tackles, 2.0 TFL and half a sack at Missouri Southern. He was an honorable mention All-MIAA pick last year. He was named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list this year. He recorded six tackles, five of them solo, at Neb.-Kearney. He had four tackles against Northwest Missouri. He recorded seven tackles against Missouri Western. He had eight tackles, 2.5 TFL, a sack and a pass break up against Ft. Hays State. He had six tackles, a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss at Pitt State. He had three tackles and a quarterback hurry at Northeastern State. He had four solo tackles against Central Oklahoma. He had six tackles, five of them solo, at Central Missouri. He had five tackles and a sack in his Hornet debut against Missouri Southern. He had 32 tackles and eight tackles for loss for Iowa Western CC as a freshman.
DOMINATE AT THE LINE
Defensive end Dominique Jones (Sr./Kilgore, Texas) missed the Central Oklahoma game with concussion like symptoms but is expected back for the Northeastern State game. He was credited with three tackles against Central Missouri. He had nine assisted tackles at Missouri Southern and was in on a sack and another tackle for loss.
He was moved to defensive end last year after starting the season at H-Back. He had five tackles at Neb.-Kearney. He had four solo stops against Northwest Missouri. He had a sack and forced fumble at Washburn for a loss of eight years. He had a solo tackle and quarterback hurry in his first exclusive action on defense at Mo. Western. He had a 21 yard reception against Central Oklahoma.
He played in 18 games with six starts as the primary blocking tight end in two years at the University of Texas. He had a touchdown reception in the Longhorns 2010 game at Kansas State. He was a three-time all-district performer and starter at tight end and defensive end for Kilgore HS He was tabbed one of the top 10 defensive ends in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football as a high school senior.
Defensive lineman Lear Schrader (Sr./Irvine, Calif.) had three tackles at Central Oklahoma from his down lineman position. He had three solo tackles against Central Missouri.
He was third in the MIAA with two fumble recoveries last year. He had three assisted tackles against Lindenwood. He was credited with two tackles at Northeastern State. He blocked a field goal attempt by Central Oklahoma and recovered a fumble against the Bronchos. He saw action in seven games as a sophomore for Orange Coast College in 2013 with 17 tackles, four TFL and an interception.
Defensive end Jordan Robinson (Jr./Topeka, Kan.) had eight tackles and 2.0 sacks at Central Oklahoma, and had a part on the Hornets sack on the Bronchos final offensive play of the game. He had four tackles and two quarterback hurries against Central Missouri.
He had three solo tackles at Mo. Western last year while playing linebacker. He had four tackles at Northeastern State. He opened the season with five stops against Missouri Southern. He played in nine games for the Hornets as a freshman after transferring from Butler CC.
Defensive end James Junious (Sr./Arlington, Texas) had two tackles and a quarterback hurry against Central Missouri. He was credited with half a sack at Missouri Southern.
He had six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against Northwest Missouri last year. He had four tackles, half a tackle for loss, a pass break up and a quarterback hurry against Ft. Hays State. He recorded two tackles against Lindenwood and at Northeastern State. He had three tackles and half a tackle for loss against Central Oklahoma. He recorded four tackles and a sack at Central Missouri last year.
WALKER, TEXAS RANGER
Defensive lineman Donovan Walker (So./Cottleville, Mo.) was credited with three tackles and half a tackle for loss at Missouri Southern. He had three tackles at Neb.-Kearney last year. He was credited with two solo stops against Northwest Missouri. He had six tackles at Washburn and five tackles at Pitt State. He was a unanimous first-team All-GAC South Division pick at defensive end and earned first-team All-District and second-team all-state honors at Francis Howell HS.
Defensive linemen DeAndre Glover (Jr./Hempstead, Texas) had two tackles and half a sack at Central Oklahoma. He had a sack against Central Missouri. He had 38 tackles with a sack at Kilgore College last year.
A TON OF ABS
Defensive lineman Larenz Abston (Jr./Des Moines, Iowa) had two assisted tackles at Central Oklahoma. He forced a fumble at the Hornets one yard line that was recovered in the endzone against Central Missouri. He is in is first season with the Hornets. He had 35 tackles and an interception from his defensive end position at Ellsworth CC last season.
Defensive linemen Brandon Allen (Sr./Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Logan Powell (Fr.-RS/Gardner, Kan.) will provide depth on the defensive line. Allen is in his second year with the Hornets after transferring from Iowa Western CC. Powell was a second-team All-State performer and had 51 tackles, six tackles for loss and two forced fumbles for Gardner-Edgerton HS as a senior in 2013.
Safety Brandon Gentz (Sr./Emporia, Kan.) recorded four tackles against Central Oklahoma. He had five tackles, four of them solo, against Central Missouri. He had five tackles at Missouri Southern. He is back for his senior season after suffering a season ending spleen injury at Central Missouri last year. He had six starts at the end of his sophomore year and recorded 26 of his 29 tackles in those starts. He had a career high two interceptions at Lincoln that he returned a total of 39 yards.
Cornerback A.J. West (So./Yukon, Okla.) had seven tackles and a pass break up at Central Oklahoma. He recorded five tackles and a fumble recovery in the endzone against Central Missouri. He had five tackles at Missouri Southern.
Last year he intercepted a pass in the endzone at Missouri Western. He had three tackles at Pittsburg State. He had two tackles and a pass break up against Lindenwood. He had a career high six tackles with two pass break ups at Northeastern State. He had a 17 yard kick return and a tackle against Central Oklahoma. He had a 20 yard kick return against Central Missouri. He had one tackle against Missouri Southern after making the move from running back to corner during training camp.
He earned All-American honors as a true freshman member of Emporia State’s men’s 4x400m relay team that placed eighth in the nation in 2014. He gained 1,702 yards on 195 carries as a senior for Yukon HS in his only year of high school football.
Cornerback Tre Dickerson (Jr./Corinth, Texas) had six tackles at Central Oklahoma, five of them solo. He had an assisted tackle and two pass break ups at Missouri Southern. He had three tackles and a pass break up against Lindenwood last year. He had four tackles and an interception at Northeastern State. He earned a provisional NCAA qualifying mark in the triple jump in the spring for the Hornet track and field team.
ACE OF MAYZE
Cornerback Ace Mayze (Jr./Arlington, Texas) recorded three tackles and a pass break up at Central Oklahoma. He had five tackles and a key fourth quarter pass breakup against Central Missouri. He was credited with seven tackles at Missouri Southern.
He had three tackles and a fumble recovery at Missouri Western last season. He recorded five tackles at Northeastern State. He had a pair of solo tackles against Central Oklahoma. He had one tackle and was credited with two pass break ups at Central Missouri. He was credited with five tackles against Missouri Southern. He saw action in all 11 games as a freshman. He had a season high five tackles, four of them solo stops, against Southwest Baptist.
Safety J.P. Lohrentz (Jr./Buhler, Kan.) was credited with one solo stop at Central Oklahoma. He had a career high ten tackles against Central Missouri. He had six tackles and a forced fumble at Missouri Southern. He is in his fourth year with the Hornets and has found a home at safety after bouncing back and forth between receiver and the defensive secondary for his first three years. He had four tackles against Northwest Missouri last season. He was a first-team All-State Class 4A selection and earned first-team All-AVCTL selection at receiver and defensive back for Buhler HS.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS
Safety Marcus Houghton (So./McPherson, Kan) had a key fumble recovery that led to Hornet field goal at Central Oklahoma. He was credited with two tackles at Missouri Southern.
He had a career high eight tackles with a tackle for loss at Washburn last year. He had three tackles at Missouri Western. He got his first career start against Lindenwood and had three solo tackles, including one for a loss. He was a first-team All-Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League performer for McPherson HS.
Cornerback M.J. Mathis (Jr./Crosby, Texas) had four interceptions for Kilgore College last season to go with 22 tackles.
Safety Drew Cook (Fr.-RS/Oklahoma City, Okla.) was an all-conference performer at Casady HS who had 32 receptions for 495 yards and four touchdowns as a senior receiver before moving to the defensive side of the ball for the Hornets.
Kicker Austin Morton (So./Rockwall, Texas) is ranked third in the MIAA in kick scoring with 15 PATs and three field goals. He is 15 for 15 on PATs and three of three on field goals so far this year to lead the nation in kicking accuracy.
Last year he led the MIAA and was 26th in the nation in field goal percentage and is ranked fifth in the league and was 45th in the country in field goals per game. He was the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Week after going three for three on field goals at Mo. Western. He went 35 of 38 on PATs and ten of 13 on field goals with a long of 43 yards.
He is tied for sixth in single season made field goals at Emporia State and one of just five players to make at least ten in a season. He is 13 of 16 in his career on field goals at Emporia State and has made 50 of 53 PAT attempts.
Kicker/punter Justin Marcha (So./Edmond, Okla.) would be leading the MIAA and ranked second in the nation in punting average at 45.2 yards per punt, but does not have the reguired 3.6 punts per game to qualify for the leaders. He also kicks off for the Hornets and averages 60.9 yards per kick with five touchbacks on 20 kick offs. He averaged 49.0 yards per punt at Central Missouri with a career long of 64 yards. His lone touchback against the Bronchos was muffed inside the five yard line before UCO recovered it in the end zone. He averaged 44.5 yards per punt with a long of 56 yards against Central Missouri. He averaged 43.8 yards on four punts at Missouri Southern. He also hit a PAT against the Lions.
Last year he averaged 56.2 yards with nine touchbacks on 49 kick-offs. He successfully executed two on-side kicks against Neb.-Kearney and another one against Northwest Missouri. He averaged 36.7 yards per punt on 46 punts. He has placed 15 punts inside the 20 and only one touchback while forcing eight fair catches.
DID YOU CATCH IT
For the sixth year in a row, the Hornets had a home game featured on the MIAA Television Network when they played host to Central Missouri in the home opener on September 10. It was the first of two scheduled appearances on television for Emporia State as they will play at Lindenwood on October 3 on MIAA TV as well. Last year the Hornets played twice on the MIAA Network, dropping a 42-14 decision to then #7 Northwest Missouri following a 30-10 win at Missouri Western. In 2013 they defeated Southwest Baptist 63-17 on October 12 for Homecoming. It was just the second time in seven games that the Hornets played a team with an under .500 record on the MIAA Network. The Hornets are third behind Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri for the most appearances on the MIAA Network over the last four years. The Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 game against Missouri Western was the first televised match-up of nationally ranked teams from Jones Field at Welch Stadium. The MIAA Network is available live to nearly 2 million homes. The Hornets have played 16 games on live television in the last 16 seasons with six of the games coming from Welch Stadium.
Video webcasts for all of Emporia State’s regular season games are available on a pay per view basis from Stretch Internet as part of the conference wide webcast agreement. Each MIAA school receives credit for the games accessed through their portal.
Audio of all Emporia State games are available on KFFX 104.9FM and at http://www.kvoe.com with Greg Rahe, Chuck Samples and Ron Thomas providing the call. KFFX is in their 28th straight year as the radio home of Hornet Athletics, the longest active streak between a commercial station and an MIAA school.
Tight end Reese Reichards (neck) and receiver Justin Brown (leg) are out for the season. Center Joe Pomatto (ankle) is questionable entering the Northeastern State game.
LOOKING BACK AT 2015
The Hornets missed 54 combined games from players expected to be on the two deep at the beginning of last season. The two players Emporia State took to the 2014 MIAA Media Day, quarterback Brent Wilson and middle linebacker Tariq Allen, combined to play in just five games for the Hornets last season. The Hornets ended up using three different starting quarterbacks last year and all of them produced a win in MIAA play.
HEAD COACH GARIN HIGGINS
Former Hornet Garin Higgins is the 21st head football coach at Emporia State and is just the second to lead the Hornets to ten wins in a season. In 2013 he became just the second coach to take the Hornets to the NCAA Playoffs and is one of just six Emporia State coaches to take the Hornets to a post season game of any type. He is 96-56 as a head coach with a 45-47 record at his alma mater. He is 36-23 in the last five seasons and 30-13 over the last 43 games. He compiled a 51-9 record as the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University before becoming the co-offensive coordinator at Minnesota State in 2005. He was the offensive coordinator at Northeastern State in 2006.
He orchestrated one of the great turnarounds in Emporia State history. The Hornets went 19-4 in 2012 and 2013 after going 19-36 in his first five seasons. The 19 wins in back to back seasons were the most since going 19-5 in 1988-89, while Higgins was a quarterback for Emporia State.
With five more wins in 2012 than 2011, he led the Hornets to the biggest improvement in wins from one season to the next in Emporia State history. He had led the Hornets to within just one game of a post season berth in 2010 and 2011 before winning the Kanza Bowl in 2012. He is one of six Hornet coaches to win at least five games in four straight years.
While at NWOSU, he was named the Central State Football League Coach of the Year five straight years from 2000 through 2004. The Rangers won 31 consecutive games from 1998 through 2000 and were 15-3 against NCAA Division II schools under Higgins.
A native of Blackwell, Okla., Higgins graduated from Emporia State in 1992. He was a four-year letterman for the Hornets and helped lead the team to a national runner-up finish in 1989. He has been involved with four teams that have played for or won national championships as a player, coordinator or head coach. Higgins and his wife Heather, a 1995 graduate of ESU, are the parents of three children – son Halen and daughters Harlee and Gracyn.
THE NFL EXPERIENCE
The Hornets have had 14 players play in one of the major professional football leagues. Two Hornets have won Super Bowl rings – Kelly Goodburn with the Washington Redskins and Leon Lett with the Dallas Cowboys. Adam Schiltz was on the Tennessee Titans practice squad in 2013 and was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad last year. Schiltz saw action in exhibition games with the Chiefs this year while Austin Willis played in exhibition action for the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills. Harold Ayodele was a part of the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp and saw action in exhibition games in 2011. Garin Higgins has coached three players that have gone on to play in the NFL regular season – Lynn Scott with the Dallas Cowboys, Sam Breeden with the Green Bay Packers, and Patrick Crayton with the Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.
THE POLLS SAY
The MIAA has two teams ranked in the top ten of the AFCA and D2Football.com polls this week, with Emporia State also in the D2Football.com top 25 and receiving votes along with Ft. Hays State and Washburn in the AFCA poll.
OUTSIDE THE CONFERENCE
The Hornets have gone 10-2 in non-conference games under Garin Higgins and are 21-7 outside the MIAA in the 21st century. Since joining the MIAA, ESU is 30-12 in non-conference games and has lost only three games to unranked non-conference D-II opponents since 1996. The MIAA has sent eight different schools to the NCAA playoffs in the last eight years and has had a team in the national championship game eight of the last 11 seasons.
MIAA IN THE POSTSEASON
Since the MIAA first expanded in 1989 and the new teams became eligible for post season play in 1990, the MIAA has won six national championships and had a representative in 13 of 24 national championship games. The MIAA has been represented in eight of the last 11 national championship games. In that time the MIAA is 33-14 in the NCAA Playoffs and 10-5 in bowl games for a combined post season record of 43-19 against non-conference opponents.
A Hornet win would…
make Emporia State 4-0 overall, 4-0 in the MIAA;
make Emporia State 4-0 for the third time in four years;
make Emporia State 5-5 all-time against Northeastern State;
be the fourth straight win in the series for Emporia State;
make Coach Higgins 46-47 at Emporia State and 97-56 overall;
A Hornet loss would…
make Emporia State 3-1 overall, 3-1 in the MIAA.
make Emporia State 3-1 for the first time since the 2010 season;
make Emporia State 4-6 all-time against Northeastern State;
be the Hornets first loss to the RiverHawks since 1990;
make Coach Higgins 45-48 at Emporia State and 96-57 overall.